Lisa’s Picks For The Twelve Best Horror Films of The Past Six Years


CabinInTheWoods

It’s October, which means that it’s horror month here at the Shattered Lens!  Can you believe that we’ve been doing this for six years?  I figured what better way to celebrate the start of October than by listing my picks for the ten best horror and supernatural-themed films to have been released since the founding of Through the Shattered Lens!

(Whoops!  Derrick Ferguson of the Ferguson Theater just reminded me that House of the Devil came out in 2009.  Though I haven’t reviewed House of the Devil on this site — though I did take time to praise this dance scene — it is a film that definitely belongs on this list.  So, I’m adding it and another film as well.  So now, we have a list of the 12 best horror films of the past six years!)

Check them out below!

  1. The Cabin In The Woods (2012)
  2. Warm Bodies (2013)
  3. The Conjuring (2013)
  4. A Field in England (2014)
  5. Take Shelter (2011)
  6. Sinister (2012)
  7. The House of the Devil (2009)
  8. The Babadook (2014)
  9. Devil’s Due  (2014)
  10. Insidious (2011)
  11. Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
  12. You’re Next (2013)

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

Warm Bodies

 

4 Shots From 4 Films: Inland Empire, Borgman, A Field In England, Goodbye to Language


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films.  As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

Inland Empire (2006, dir by David Lynch)

Inland Empire (2006, dir by David Lynch)

Borgman (2013, dir by  Alex van Warmerdam)

Borgman (2013, dir by Alex van Warmerdam)

A Field in England (2013, dir by Ben Wheatley)

A Field in England (2013, dir by Ben Wheatley)

Goodbye to Language (2014, dir by Jean-Luc Godard)

Goodbye to Language (2014, dir by Jean-Luc Godard)

What if Lisa Marie Picked The Oscar Nominees!


Oscar1

With the Oscar nominations due to be announced tomorrow, now is the time that the Shattered Lens indulges in a little something called, “What if Lisa had all the power.” Listed below are my personal Oscar nominations.  Please note that these are not the films that I necessarily think will be nominated.  The fact of the matter is that the many of them will not.  Instead, these are the films that would be nominated if I was solely responsible for deciding the nominees this year.  Winners are listed in bold.

(You’ll also note that I’ve added four categories, all of which I believe the Academy should adopt — Best Voice-Over Performance, Best Casting, Best Stunt Work, and Best Overall Use Of Music In A Film.)

(Click on the links to see my nominations for 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010!)

2015 Best Picture Nominees

Best Picture

Boyhood

The Fault In Our Stars

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

*Guardians of the Galaxy*

The LEGO Movie

Nightcrawler

Palo Alto

Under the Skin

Wild

600full-richard-linklater

Best Director

Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler

Jonathan Glazer for Under the Skin

James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy

*Richard Linklater for Boyhood*

Jean-Marc Vallee for Wild

Nightcrawler

Best Actor

Macon Blair in Blue Ruin

Nicholas Cage in Joe

Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel

*Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler*

Tom Hardy in Locke

Michael Keaton in Birdman

reese-witherspoon-wild-slice

Best Actress

Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

Angelina Jolie in Maleficent

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

Emmanuelle Seigner in Venus In Fur

Shailene Woodley in The Fault In Our Stars

*Reese Witherspoon in Wild*

Gary Poulter in Joe

Best Supporting Actor

Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Ethan Hawke in Boyhood

*Gary Poulter in Joe*

Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

968full-only-lovers-left-alive-screenshot

Best Supporting Actress

Patrica Arquette in Boyhood

Laura Dern in Wild

Emma Roberts in Palo Alto

Rene Russo in Nightcrawler

Emma Stone in Birdman

*Mia Wasikowska in Only Lovers Left Alive*

Vin-Diesel-is-Groot-Official-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy

Best Voice Over Performance

Scott Adsit in Big Hero 6

Bradley Cooper in Guardians of the Galaxy

Kate del Castillo in The Book of Life

*Vin Diesel in Guardians of the Galaxy*

Morgan Freeman in The LEGO Movie

Chris Pratt in The LEGO Movie

o-BOYHOOD-facebook

Best Original Screenplay

*Boyhood*

Chef

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The LEGO Movie

Nightcrawler

The One I Love

wildhorsedern 4

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Fault In Our Stars

Gone Girl

Guardians of the Galaxy

Palo Alto

Venus in Fur

*Wild*

Lego Movie

Best Animated Feature

Big Hero 6

The Book of Life

The Boxtrolls

How To Train Your Dragon 2

*The LEGO Movie*

JodorowskysDune

Best Documentary Feature

Art and Craft

*Jodorowsky’s Dune*

The Last Patrol

Life Itself

Private Violence

Under the Electric Sky

Venus_in_Fur_poster

Best Foreign Language Film

Borgman

Ida

Illiterate

The Raid 2

*Venus In Fur*

We Are The Best!

Boyhood Image

Best Casting

*Boyhood*

Foxcatcher

Joe

Snowpiercer

Under the Skin

Wild

Palo Alto

Best Cinematography

California Scheming

A Field In England

Foxcatcher

If I Stay

Nightcrawler

*Palo Alto*

Meryl-Streep-Into-The-Woods

Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One

In Secret

*Into the Woods*

Pompeii

Film Review Under the Skin

Best Editing

Birdman

Boyhood

Guardians of the Galaxy

Nightcrawler

*Under the Skin*

Wild

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-gang

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Foxcatcher

*Guardians of the Galaxy*

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

Inherent Vice

Into the Woods

Maleficent

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Best Original Score

California Scheming

A Field in England

Gone Girl

Guardians of the Galaxy

Nightcrawler

*Under the Skin*

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Best Original Song

“Lost Stars” from Begin Again

“The Apology Song” from The Book of Life

“Split the Difference” from Boyhood

“Yellow Flicker Beats” from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One

*”Everything is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie*

“Sister Rust” from Lucy

“Mercy” from Noah

“Hal” from Only Lovers Left Alive

“Rock Star” from Palo Alto

“Summer Nights” from Under the Electric Sky

GuardiandoftheGalaxy

Best Overall Use Of Music

Begin Again

Boyhood

A Field in England

*Guardians of the Galaxy*

Only Lovers Left Alive

Whiplash

The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-580

Best Production Design

*The Grand Budapest Hotel*

Guardians of the Galaxy

Inherent Vice

Into the Woods

Snowpiercer

Winter’s Tale

Fury

Best Sound Editing

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

A Field in England

*Fury*

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Capt2-Payoff-1-Sht-v8-Lg-c563d

Best Sound Mixing

*Captain America: The Winter Soldier*

A Field in England

Fury

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Dawn-Of-The-Planet-Of-The-Apes3-e1396236946120

Best Stunt Work

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

*Dawn of the Planet of the Apes*

Divergent

In the Blood

Raze

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-rocket-with-gun

Best Visual Effects

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Edge of Tomorrow

Godzilla

*Guardians of the Galaxy*

Interstellar

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Number of Nominations by Film

14 Nominations — Guardians of the Galaxy

9 Nominations — Boyhood

8 Nominations — Nightcrawler

7 Nominations — Wild

6 Nominations — Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego Movie, Under the Skin

5 Nominations —  A Field in England, Palo Alto

4 Nominations — X-Men: Days of Future Past

3 Nominations — Birdman, The Book of LifeCapt. America: The Winter Soldier, The Fault In Our Stars, Gone Girl, Inherent Vice, Into the WoodsJoe, Only Lovers Left AliveVenus in Fur

2 Nominations — Begin AgainBig Hero 6, California SchemingDawn of the Planet of Apes, Fury, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part OneMaleficent, SnowpiercerUnder the Electric SkyWhiplash

1 Nomination — Art and CraftBlue Ruin, BorgmanThe Box Trolls, ChefDivergent, Edge of Tomorrow, Godzilla, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Ida, If I StayIlliterate, In SecretIn the Blood, Interstellar, Jodorowsky’s Dune, The Last Patrol, Life ItselfLocke, Lucy, NoahThe One I Love, Pompeii, Private ViolenceThe Raid 2Raze, We Are The Best!, Winter’s Tale

Numbers of Oscars By Film

5 Oscars — Guardians of the Galaxy

3 Oscars — Boyhood

2 Oscars — The LEGO Movie, Under the Skin, Wild

1 Oscar — Capt. America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Plaent of the Apes, Jodorowsky’s Dune, Fury, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Into the Woods, Joe, Nightcrawler, Only Lovers Left Alive, Palo Alto, Venus In Fur

Oscars

2014 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 26 Favorite Films of 2014


Well, here we are!  This is my favorite part of the TSL’s look back at the previous year!  Below, you’ll find my picks for the 26 best films of 2014!

(Why 26?  Because Lisa doesn’t do odd numbers.)

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-gang

Before looking at the list, there are two things that I would ask you to keep in mind.  First off, these are my picks and my picks alone.  There are 12 writers here at the TSL and we are all very opinionated individuals.  Needless to say, we don’t always agree.  Just because I love a film doesn’t mean that Arleigh, Leonard, Ryan, or anybody else here agree or disagrees.  (Even my own sister occasionally disagrees with me…)  When the other writers get around to posting their picks, I imagine that some of the films below will appear on those lists. And some of them most definitely will not.  Vive la difference!

Also, it should be understood that, unlike some film critics, I only list movies that I’ve actually seen.  Unfortunately, since I live in the middle of the country, that means that there are a few 2014 films that have yet to be released in my part of the world.  Over the upcoming two weeks, I plan to see Inherent Vice, Selma, American Sniper, A Most Violent Year, and The Imitation Game.  Any one of these films could potentially end up in my top 26, in which case I will update this post to reflect that.

(1/10/15 Update — I have updated the list to include Inherent Vice.  And, since I don’t do odd numbers, I also added Blue Ruin so that the list is currently an even 28 films.)

Under the Skin

As for my list, as I look over it, I have to admit that I’m a little bit surprised by some of the films that made the biggest impression on me this year.  Whereas in previous years, my favorite films were far outside of the mainstream, my favorite film of 2014 was the epitome of blockbuster entertainment.  The list is an interesting combination of spectacle and existential dread, featuring everything from the latest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a few neglected masterpieces of ennui.

(If you’d like to see my picks for 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, click on the links!)

reese-witherspoon-wild-slice

And without further ado, here’s the list!

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy
  2. Wild
  3. Boyhood
  4. Under the Skin
  5. The LEGO Movie
  6. Nightcrawler
  7. The Fault In Our Stars
  8. Foxcatcher
  9. Palo Alto
  10. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  11. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  12. Joe
  13. Birdman
  14. Venus in Fur
  15. A Field in England
  16. California Scheming
  17. Gone Girl
  18. Chef
  19. Snowpiercer
  20. Cold In July
  21. Jodorowsky’s Dune
  22. Whiplash
  23. Inherent Vice
  24. Begin Again
  25. The Purge: Anarchy
  26. Devil’s Due
  27. Only Lovers Left Alive
  28. Blue Ruin

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments below!

CaliforniaScheming

Previous Entries In TSL’s Look Back At 2014

  1. 2014 In Review: Things Dork Geekus Dug In 2014 Off The Top Of His Head
  2. 2014 In Review: The Best Of Lifetime and SyFy
  3. 2014 In Review: Lisa’s Picks For The 16 Worst Films Of 2014
  4. 2014 In Review: 14 Of Lisa’s Favorite Songs Of 2014
  5. 2014 In Review: Necromoonyeti’s Top 10 Metal Albums of 2014
  6. 2014 In Review: 20 Good Things Lisa Saw On TV In 2014
  7. 2014 In Review: Pantsukudasai56’s Pick For The Best Anime of 2014
  8. 2014 in Reivew: Lisa’s 20 Favorite Novels of 2014
  9. 2014 In Review: Lisa’s Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2014

For Your Consideration #1: A Field In England (dir by Ben Wheatley)


A_Field_in_England_poster

With this being awards season, a lot of attention is being given to a small handful of films.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing because I love some of those films.  However, with all the focus being some narrowly directed, we run the risk of forgetting that Boyhood, Birdman, and Whiplash weren’t the only memorable films released this year.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to post 10 quick reviews of some other films that, if I was in charge of things, would be given some awards consideration.

We start things off with Ben Wheatley’s haunting and psychedelic period piece, A Field In England.

As you might be able to tell from the above trailer, A Field In England is not necessarily an easy film to describe.  The film takes place in the 17th Century, during the English Civil War.  Reece Shearsmith plays Whitehead, who is an apprentice to a never-seen alchemist known as The Gentleman of Norwich.  Fleeing from a raging battle, Whitehead meets three deserters, Cutler (Ryan Pope), Jacob (Peter Ferdinando), and Friend (Richard Glover).  Cutler offers to lead them to a nearby ale house but instead, he takes them to a desolate field where Cutler secretly drugs them with hallucinogenic mushrooms and then demands that they pull on a rope that appears to be attached to a stake in the middle of the ground.  Pulling on the rope leads to the sudden appearance of Cutler’s boss, the haughty and sadistic O’Neill (Michael Smiley).

O’Neill, it turns out, is also in some way connected to the Gentleman of Norwich.  He claims that there is a treasure buried in the field and only Whitehead — as the apprentice to an alchemist — will be able to find it.  At first, Whitehead refuses to help O’Neill but then O’Neill takes Whitehead into a tent and does …. well, he does something.  The film never makes explicit what happens in that tent and the result is one of the most hauntingly disturbing scenes that I’ve ever seen.

And from there, things only get stranger.  Jacob and Friend are forced to dig for the treasure while Whitehead consumes more and more mushrooms.  The characters occasionally freeze in place, creating a painterly tableaux.  A character dies and then repeatedly returns to life.  Most ominously of all, a black sun appears in the sky, seeming to grow with each new outrage.

Obviously, A Field in England is not a film for everyone.  That’s what makes it a truly memorable and brave cinematic experience.  At a time when so many movies are ruthlessly designed to take absolutely no risks, A Field In England is willing to run the risk of being incomprehensible.  However, the film itself is so well-directed and acted and the black-and-white cinematography is so hauntingly gorgeous that it doesn’t matter whether or not it makes any sense.  In fact, after a while, you start to truly love the fact that it does not.  This is pure cinema and therefore, it’s exactly the type of film that not only deserves but demands to be seen and honored.

Unfortunately, it’s also a film that has been ruled ineligible for any Oscar nominations, which is a pity.  However, regardless of what the Academy may say, it still deserves the consideration of film lovers everywhere.

A Field in England

Song of the Day: Chernobyl (performed by Blanck Mass)


Have you seen Ben Wheatley’s A Field In England yet?

If you haven’t, you really should.  It’s just now getting an extremely limited theatrical release here in the States, though it’s also available via video-on-demand as well.  I saw it earlier tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse (which is the greatest theater in the U.S., by the way) and I’m still working out my feelings towards it.  It appears to be a film about a criminal, an alchemist, and a group of military deserters who, during the mid-17th Century, find themselves in an English field searching for a treasure that may or may not exist, while some of them have visions that may or may not be real.

Regardless of whether you think A Field In England is brilliant or just pretentious (and I think a good argument could be made for either conclusion), everyone can agree that one of the more memorable scenes in the film is the “tent scene”.  You can watch the scene below, though it definitely loses something when taken out of context from the rest of the film.

The song playing as that unfortunate man walks out of that tent is Blanck Mass’s Chernobyl.  And it’s also today’s song of the day!